Queen Elizabeth II, The Second-Longest Reigning Monarch In World History, Has Died At Age 96

Queen Elizabeth II attends an Armed Forces Act of Loyalty Parade at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in a purple hat and jacket

Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth countries, has died aged 96. 

She was the second-longest reigning monarch in the world and the longest-serving ruler in British history. She surpassed all but one of the world’s monarchs on June 13 2022 having ruled for 70 years and 127 days. 

The Royal Family confirmed the Queen’s passing via Twitter. The Queen died at Balmoral Castle in north-east Scotland just after 6:30pm local UK time.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” the initial announcement read.

The announcement was followed by a statement from her son Charles, who has ascended the throne as King Charles III.

He said the death of his “beloved mother” was “moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family”.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother,” he said.

“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.

“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”

The Queen’s body is expected to be taken from Balmoral to Edinburgh on Friday morning local time. A memorial will be held there before the Queen’s body travels to London.

The UK is expected to declare a period of national mourning in the days before the Queen’s funeral, which will be held at Westminster Abbey in London.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese released a statement at 5am Canberra time.

“The Government and the people of Australia offer our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are grieving for a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother—the person whom for so long was their greatest inner strength,” he said.

“Australian hearts go out to the people of the United Kingdom who mourn today, knowing they will feel they have lost part of what makes their nation whole.

“There is comfort to be found in Her Majesty’s own words: ‘Grief is the price we pay for love’.”

Governor-General David Hurley also shared a statement and described the Queen as “remarkable”.

“I join with all Australians in mourning Her Majesty The Queen’s passing and in remembering her lifetime of tireless service. She was a truly remarkable person,” he said.

“When I reflect on my own memories – she was my Queen for my whole life – I think of Her Majesty’s dignity and her compassion. Her dedication and tireless work ethic. And her selflessness and unwavering commitment to the people that she served. To us.

“Her death will sadden all Australians and will be felt around the world.”

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton described the Queen as “gentle, kind, and much-loved”.

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II lived through the pivotal events of the 20th and 21st centuries – wars and conflicts, depression and recession, the end of empire and decolonisation, the race to the moon and the attainment of civil rights, the brilliance of Olympic Games and the barbarity of terrorism,” he said.

“She led Britain through the darkest of days and through the times of triumph.”

Queen Elizabeth is survived by her children Charles, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the last vestiges of the world’s largest and brutal empires.